This homemade recipe for a grocery aisle classic comes from one of our favorite cookbooks: Stella Parks' Bravetart. We replace a fig preserve with Fig Hazelnut Schmutz for a crunchy, bright, and golden bite.
- 10 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal, plus more for dusting (2 1/4 cups, spooned; 295g)
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, soft but cool, about 65°F/18°C (1 1/4 sticks; 140g)
- 4 ounces light brown sugar, gently packed (1/2 cup; 110g)
- 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (3.6g) baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ounce honey (about 2 tablespoons, ungreased; 30g)
- 1 teaspoon (2g) orange zest
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 3 large egg yolks, straight from the fridge (approximately 1 1/2 ounces; 40g)
- One jar of Schmutz Fig Hazelnut Haroset
Prepare the Dough: Combine butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, honey, and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to moisten, then increase to medium and cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice, then add the egg yolks one at a time and continue beating until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and sprinkle in the flour, mixing until well combined.
Knead the dough against the sides of the bowl to form a smooth ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cool and firm but not hard, about 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; soften for 30 minutes at room temperature.)
To Assemble the Cookies: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Knead the cool dough on a bare work surface until pliable and smooth, then dust with flour and roll into an 8-inch square. Sprinkle both sides with flour and roll into a 15-inch square. Slide an offset spatula under the dough to loosen it, brush off excess flour, and cut into four 3 1/4-inch strips.
Spread a 1-inch-wide strip of Schmutz down the center of each portion (we use the whole jar). Fold a long flap of dough over each strip, brush away excess flour, and roll each bar over, seam side down. Gently flatten each bar with your fingertips, then transfer to a parchment-lined half sheet pan (all 4 bars will fit on a single sheet).
Bake until the bars are puffed and firm, without any significant browning, about 18 minutes. Immediately cut into 1-inch pieces with a bench scraper, then transfer to an airtight container, with a paper towel between each layer and on top. This will steam the cookies and retain moisture for them to reabsorb, creating a uniquely soft and cakey texture. Cover and “mature” for at least 6 hours before serving; prior to that, the cookies will taste dry. Store for up to 1 week at room temperature or up to a month in the fridge.